ARCSIM

Arctic Simulation

Coordinators

See Moodle – participation in the Arctic Simulation is voluntary.

The simulation may involve RMC students of more than one section of the course, and students not in the course. The participation protocols may vary for those in the course and those not in the course. Because cadets and students of other countries are expected to be involved, the actual process and duration will be flexible. It is tentativel scheduled for 20 Sep to 22 Oct, but online activity levels will vary over this period.

Introduction

This is an opportunity to work online with cadets in other countries on real staff problems related to Canada’s participation in an international regime.  Canada is a member of the Arctic Council, which is an international organization of eight member-states with territory in the Arctic Circle, plus observer states and organizations representing indigenous nations. Within this group, states have agreed to cooperate on issues of common interest. Notwithstanding areas of conflict and competition, agreements exist on meaningful engagement of indigenous peoples in maritime activities, management of maritime pollution, search and rescue, and other areas. The Arctic Council does not address national security issues, but contributes directly to both human security and international security through its routine work.

Unlike Model UN and Model NATO simulations, you are not pretending to be anyone. You are not members of the Arctic Council staff.  You are simply foreshadowing a time soon after you graduate when you will be Canadian officers on  a national staff who are responsible for communicating with officers in other countries about issues of mutual concern. Similarly, the cadets in other countries are not pretending to represent other countries – they are real Norwegians, Americans, Swedes, etc. reading their national documentation in their own languages and trying to convey their perception of the situation to you. A general theme in the scenarios is identifying and mitigating potential hostility, while preparing for cooperative multinational responses. Remember that there will be national issues that are not discussed in the context of Arctic Council cooperation (US nuclear submarine activity, for example).

Learning objectives

Learning objectives in red are professional development objectives rather than course objectives, and won’t be marked as part of participation in the Arctic Simulation for POE116

  • Describe actors, events and issues in international relations
  • Describe mechanisms for cooperation in international relations
  • Describe means of compartmentalization of national interests
  • Demonstrate discrimination in the use and interpretation of sources
  • Define the strength and limitations of an international regime
  • Practice cross-cultural communication skills
  • Practice coordination across staff cells (e.g. between RMC and CMR-SJ)
  • Practice the organization of staff teams to address international problems
  • Practice identifying external resources to solve problems
  • Practice communication with subject experts

Cases

The simulation is designed to be free, functional, flexible, fact-based, and fun. It uses free platforms online (Slack, Skype, Zoom) to avoid travel and cost.  It works around institutional schedules, and it asks cadets to address real issues from their country’s perspective, drawing on national sources in their native language.

Iceland assumed the presidency of the Arctic Council for 2019-2021, with a program aimed at “Together Towards a Sustainable Arctic”.  New military and civilian staff in participating countries (you) need to prepare for cooperative actions in the Arctic.  Your first task is to familiarize yourselves with legacy agreements and issues including:

Credibility check: what are the signs that a source is more or less credible? How do you verify?

Activities before simulation

Because the simulation involves cadets and civilian students in countries in different time zones, all activities are within broad brackets.

The simulation is conducted in four phases:

Activities during simulation

  • Phase 1 (Prepare) – 30 Sep-7 Oct cadets read into the background documentation and prepared their presentation explaining national policies, structures, and interpretation of the agreements. Preparation also involves seeking out additional sources of expertise to handle the scenarios.  RMC participants may consult Canadian Ranger Group and a Search and Rescue experts at the Canadian Forces College
  • Phase 2 (Present) – 7-14 Oct – the briefs should be posted by 14 Oct, and online channels will be open for questions from other teams.
  • Phase 3 (Respond) – cadets have free play on the scenarios from 14-25 Oct
    scenario 1 (indigenous engagement) launched,
    scenario 2 (marine pollution response) launched
    scenario 3 (arctic SAR) launched
    wrap-up statements from teams
  • Phase 4 (Reflect) – 29 March-10 April, the wrap-up statements are “in character” but the reflection phase steps back from the role-playing and asks, what did we learn about the real world, and how can we improve the experience for next time?

Activities after simulation

Reflect on the learning points and complete the online activity survey

Additional resources

Page updated, August, 2019, contact lastdav@gmail.com  Home